RANDOLPH, NJ- The Randolph boys’ baseball team played their annual senior day celebration game at home against Chatham on Wednesday, May 8.
“Senior Day is always a special day, as it celebrates the time and effort that they put in during their years in the sport,” said Coach Mark Rizzi. “It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to play organized sports so Senior Day is a day to honor that dedication. These seniors have shown a lot of leadership, some vocally and others through their actions, work ethic and attitude.”
After the typical pre-game celebration and introductions of the seniors with their parents, the teams took the field for what would become an extra inning battle. The teams traded a run in the second inning with the Cougars taking the lead in the top of the inning and the Rams knotting it up with an RBI single from Joe Mancuso.
After that, the game would then become a pitchers battle, as the Rams Matt Kleiven tossed 7 full innings, scattering 7 hits and striking out 5, allowing only that one run.
With the score remaining at 1-1 into extra innings, Chatham again grabbed the lead 2-1 in the top of the eighth. This time it was Joe Reed who tied it up with a solo home run to extend the game once again.
Unfortunately, the Rams would succumb in the 10th inning, as Chatham picked up two runs to earn the win by the score of 4-2.
“We have been playing very good baseball the past few weeks, and our record certainly doesn’t reflect the season,” said Rizzi. “Our pitching has been fantastic, but we are a very young team so we just need to learn how to win.”
Coach Rizzi, who is in his first season at the helm for the Rams, was asked to comment further on what life lessons he feels his players can learn from being part of the RHS baseball program.
“I hope they take the lessons they learned playing baseball into their time in college and throughout their lives,” said Rizzi. “There is no feeling like being part of a team. You experience good and bad together and during that time, learn to appreciate each other, and lean on each other for support. This will happen throughout their lives with their family, friends, co-workers etc.”
Even though he has only known these seniors for this one season, Rizzi offered a message to them as they play out their final days as RHS Rams.
“I tell them live in the moment,” said Rizzi. “Enjoy every day you are together and remember your teammates will always be your family.”
With a record of 6-10, the boys currently have four games left on their schedule, starting with Roxbury on Monday May 13.